Once the dealmakers ink a merger or acquisition agreement, the work of IT leadership begins. To keep software risk low during IT integration, the CIO, COO and other executive stakeholders must communicate effectively on features and functionality that are desired for future growth while analyzing the “new” software’s capacity to mesh well with the organization’s existing DNA.
Mark Uhrmacher, SVP of Technology at Hearst Business Media, has masterminded scores of integrations for one of world’s best-known international media organizations. “Hearst has 375 entities and we’re constantly looking to add to the family,” he explains. “That means quite a bit of M&A, and with it a lot of post-merger integration.”
In these scenarios, it’s mandatory for Uhrmacher and his IT colleagues to understand the functionality and overall health of incoming technology assets. Software Intelligence provides a much deeper level of detail than is typically available in the merger and acquisition due diligence process.
See legacy assets more clearly
Software Intelligence can help accelerate the merging of IT systems. In many cases, incoming legacy assets are poorly documented. But with enhanced visibility thanks to features such as interactive blueprints, IT leadership can gain valuable insights before and during integration activities.
These enhanced views and analyses help in accelerating the transformation process, while reducing software risk and increasing accuracy. Armed with a greater understanding of legacy systems, the IT team can prioritize and manage their legacy modernization tasks.
“Thanks to Software Intelligence, we often learn about applications that are too small for anyone to bring up in conversation.” The acquiring company, says Uhrmacher, benefits from a much firmer grasp of software performance and quality characteristics; its IT leaders can make more informed integration or sunset decisions.
Ensure a more agile IT modernization
Many organizations are starting to take an agile approach to legacy software integration. These firms can now count on Software Intelligence to help them ensure code quality by uncovering hard-to-find defects in the developed code, while also identifying security risks. And if the code is unreliable, a business can be saddled with increased technical debt, compliance issues and potential system-wide failures.
When you’re dealing with risky, compromised applications that have been ignored for possibly decades, you also need to manage costs. Uhrmacher manages this challenge, he explains, by using Software Intelligence solutions. “It’s like eating the elephant one bit at a time.”
You could look at a company’s financial statement, or you could “look at every invoice coming in,” says Uhrmacher, summing up the benefits of Software Intelligence and its ability to drill down and provide granular results. It’s this kind of technology empowerment that will help him integrate another 375 entities into the Hearst Business Media family—one line of code at a time.
Erik Oltmans, an Associate Partner from EY, Netherlands, spoke at the Software Intelligence Forum on how the consulting behemoth uses Software Intelligence in its Transaction Advisory services.
Erik describes the changing landscape of M & A. Besides the financial and commercial aspects, PE firms now equally value technical assessments, especially for targets with significant software assets. He goes on to detail how CAST Highlight makes these assessments possible with limited access to the targetâ€™s systems, customized quality metrics, and liability implications of open source components - all three that are critical for an M&A due diligence.